Laser toting, weed killing robots may soon be coming to farms across the country if the new company Carbon Robotics has its way.
Image Credit: Carbon Robotics
The company has a vision of removing toxic herbicides from the farming industry and giving farmers a no-till way to get rid of crop-killing weeds.
The no-till aspect is important as farmers also pursue strategies to transform their farmland into carbon sinks that can capture and store carbon dioxide. It’s a new, potentially lucrative line of business for farms.
Helping to get Carbon Robotics to scale is a new $27 million investment from a slew of venture capital firms. The company said it would use the money to build out new products, grow its engineering teams and set up sales and support for customers across the U.S.
“This investment further validates our mission to create tools that utilize technology to address farmers’ toughest problems,” said Paul Mikesell, CEO and founder of Carbon Robotics, in a statement. “Weeding is one of the biggest challenges farmers face, especially with the rise of herbicide-resistant weeds and increasing interest in organic and regenerative methods. ”
The company revealed its autonomous weeder in April, with a pitch to farmers that it could allow them to use less herbicides, slash labor costs, and remove unwanted plants while improving cost predictability and crop yields.
The launch comes at a time when more than 263 herbicide resistant species spreading across the globe. It already has more than $20 million in bookings from farms including Grimmway Farms, Carzalia Valley Produce, Mercer Ranches, Braga Ranch, and Amigo Farms.
Demand is so high that the company said it already sold out of its 2021 and 2022 models and is now taking orders from 2023. While there’s no mention of how many laser-packin robots the company made initially, it’s still not a bad start for a young business.
“Carbon Robotics is uniquely positioned to address critical issues affecting farmers, including the rise of superweeds and the decrease of available labor,” said Erik Benson, managing director of Voyager Capital, in a statement. “The company is making advanced technologies accessible to farmers, supporting their business operations by improving efficiencies and reliability as well as offering a sustainable method to support the management of their land.”